In this edition of the Team Rise or Fall Milly Maker Report, I’ll be exploring the flex position. I examined a total of 43 contests (17 regular season slates in 2018 and 2019 and nine slates from 2020) to find the information below.
As always you can find links to the entire Milly Maker Report series at the bottom of this post. I know I’m biased because I wrote it but, there’s a lot of really good information available across all of the reports.
Let’s get to it!
I feel like this is pretty well known in 2020 NFL DFS but, don’t use a tight end in the flex position. It’s just not worth using two roster spots on a position with generally limited upside. You’ll see in the chart below that no tight ends were used in Milly winning lineups.
There were 11 running backs and six wide receivers used in the flex position in 2018. Everything else is pretty standard (5.4k average salary, 27.4 average fantasy points, 12.6% average ownership) so I looked at game stacks and game times.
For the game stacks, I wanted to see how many times the flex position correlated to the QB position be it a teammate or a member of the opposing team. There were only two times when the flex position correlated and both were wide receivers with their quarterback.
When it comes to the flex position, it’s best roster construction to use a player with the latest start time in the flex spot. That way if you have to late swap your flex spot you can swap to any position (other than qb or defense).
In 2018, there were seven flex players from the morning games and 10 flex spots used on a player from the afternoon games. I’d say there’s not enough there for me to have an opinion either way.
As other editions of the Milly Maker Report have shown, players are getting sharper as the years go by. It makes sense because there’s so much more information available now than there’s ever been before, and simply the nature of the beast. We should always be looking for edges and I can guarantee there’s zero edge in never evolving your game or your strategy. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new player or someone that’s won a Milly already: You have to change with the times.
So did that happen in regards to the flex position in 2019? Not really.
There were 11 running backs and six wide receivers used in the flex position in 2019, the exact same as in 2018. There were two weeks where the flex position correlated to the quarterback position. That’s the same as 2018 too although in 2019 one was a running back and one was a wide receiver as opposed to two wide receivers in 2018.
Maybe there’s a difference between game time and the flex position in 2019? Again, nope. There were seven morning games and ten afternoon games for flex position players in 2019, exactly as it was in 2018.
Average points? 27.4 fp/gm in 2018 and 27.22 fp/gm in 2019. Ownership? 12.6% average in 2018 and 13.7% in 2019.
And once again, no tight end was used in the flex position.
I only used nine weeks worth of information for 2020 because that’s about the halfway point. Let’s take a look at the 2020 chart while I brace myself for some blowback.
“EAGS YOU SAID REPEATEDLY DON’T USE A TIGHT END IN THE FLEX SPOT AND NOW THERE’S A TIGHT END IN THE FLEX SPOT IN WEEK 2 I’M SO ANGRY ARGHGHGHGHGHGHGHG.”
Ok, you got me. It happened once out of 43 slates worth of data. If you have a handle on probabilities and roster construction you won’t be one of the people typing in all caps and I thank you for that. There are a few different factors that I won’t focus on right now that led to Jordan Reed working in the flex spot, and you can see by his 18.1% ownership that he was popular that week. Moving on…
There have been five wide receivers, three running backs, and ONE tight end in the flex spot in 2020. If the numbers doubled over the remainder of the season (Minus the tight end) we’d land on 10 receivers, six running backs, and a tight end. Pretty much the same as 2018 and 2019.
There’s only been one week where the flex spot correlated with the quarterback position with the difference being it was DeAndre Hopkins paired with the opposing quarterback in Russell Wilson. That was also the week the Seattle-Arizona night game was included on the main slate so there’s a little asterisk there. If the flex position correlates with the quarterback position one more time this season, it will end up just like 2018 and 2019.
The biggest difference between half of the 2020 season and the 2018 and 2019 seasons is the game time of the flex position. There’s been seven morning slate flex position players, one afternoon flex position player, and one “night” flex position player. I’ll count the night game as an afternoon game and that would make the score 7-2 in favor of morning slate flex players. I still don’t think there’s a lot to gather from this.
If you wanted any takeaways from me regarding the flex position here they are: Don’t use a tight end in the flex position and don’t stack the flex position with your quarterback (For the most part).
I’d also say throw out the average score (We can’t predict the future.), throw out average ownership (It’s an average and not indicative of a range to look for. We’ve seen as high as 37% and as low as 0.5%.), and don’t worry about the game start time.
I think that’s enough from me for now. Good luck to everyone this weekend!
See you in the green,